Back to Africa Check

South Africa's department of water repeats debunked stat

Residents of drought-stricken Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal prepare to collect water from a free water point sponsored by concerned citizens in November 2015. Photo: AFP/MUJAHID SAFODIEN Residents of drought-stricken Nongoma in KwaZulu-Natal prepare to collect water from a free water point sponsored by concerned citizens in November 2015. Photo: AFP/MUJAHID SAFODIEN

The department of water and sanitation in South Africa has again claimed that the country is “ranked amongst the 30 driest countries in the world”.

The claim was included in a media statement announcing a water-saving campaign with the Bushbuckridge local municipality in Mpumalanga.

The department has been citing this statistic since at least 2004 but it is incorrect, as Africa Check showed last month.

South Africa was ranked the 39th driest country with an average rainfall of 495 mm in 2014, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation’s Aquastat database.

Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia ranked among the countries with the least annual rainfall with 51 mm, 56 mm and 59 mm respectively. - 10/10/2016

 

Additional reading

Is South Africa one of the 30 driest countries on earth?

Frequently asked questions about South Africa’s drought

Zambia doesn’t hold 60% of southern Africa’s freshwater, but 4.5%

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters